Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND)

SEND Information Report 2023

Reviewed September 2023

Our vision for our children who have special educational need (SEN) is to include them in all activities. We aim to empower them by recognising and harnessing their strengths, gifts and talents to foster a ‘love of learning’ and ‘school life’.

“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding” – Robert John Meehan

We have developed a thoroughly structured and organised system of interventions to support our SEND children’s learning and progress. This effectively gives them a platform of equity that ensures there is no significant disparity between them and neuro-typical children. Through our excellent pastoral support and academic provision all students should feel prepared for their next steps in life.

What is the local offer?

Local authorities must publish a local offer, setting out in one place information about provision they expect to be available across education, health and social care for children and young people in their area who have special educational needs (SEN) or are disabled, including those who do not have education, health and care (EHC) plans. In setting out what they ‘expect to be available’, local authorities should include provision which they believe will actually be available.

The Walsall local offer has two key purposes:

  • To provide clear, comprehensive, accessible and up-to-date information about the available provision and how to access it, and
  • To make provision more responsive to local needs and aspirations by directly involving disabled children and those with SEN and their parents, and disabled young people and those with SEN, and service providers in its development and review

(Source SEND Code of Practice 2014)


What is our ‘Information Report’?

Our Information Report is about providing specific information for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) and their parents or carers about what services young people and their families can expect from the school and therefore more choice over what support is right for an individual pupil.

The kinds of special educational needs (SEN) for which provision is made at Queen Mary’s High School

Children and young people with SEN have different needs, but the general presumption is that all children with SEN but without an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) are welcome to apply for a place at our School, in line with the school admissions policy. If a place is available, we will undertake to use our best endeavours, in partnership with parents, to make the provision required to meet the SEN of pupils at Queen Mary’s High School.

For children with an EHCP, parents have the right to request a particular school and the local authority must comply with that preference and name the school or college in the EHC plan unless:

  • It would be unsuitable for the age, ability, aptitude or SEN of the child or young person, or
    • The attendance of the child or young person there would be incompatible with the efficient education of others, or the efficient use of resources.
    • Before making the decision to name our school in a child’s EHCP, the local authority will send our governing body a copy of the EHCP and then consider their comments very carefully before a final decision on placement is made. Students would need to undertake the entrance test in line with our admissions policy.
    • Parents of a child with an EHCP also have the right to seek a place at a special school if it they consider that their child’s needs can be better met in specialist provision.

Information about how the School identifies pupils not making progress and assesses pupils with SEN

Concerns may be raised by parents/carers, external agencies, teachers, the pupil’s previous school or the pupil themselves, regarding concerns relating to their levels of progress or inclusion in the curriculum.

Screening, such as that completed on entry or because of a concern being raised, indicates gaps in the pupil’s knowledge and/or skills.

School tracking of attainment outcomes indicates lack of expected rate of pupil progress.

Observations of the pupil indicates that they have additional needs.

Information about how the School makes provision for pupils with SEN whether or not the pupil has an EHCP.

All pupils will be provided with high quality teaching that is adaptive/ responsive. The quality of classroom teaching provided to pupils with SEND is monitored through a number of processes that include:

  • Pupils with a disability will be provided with reasonable adjustments (such as auxiliary aids and services) to overcome any disadvantage experienced in schools and increase their access to the taught curriculum.
  • Classroom observation by the senior leadership team, the SENCo, subject leaders, Head of Years and external verifiers,
    • Ongoing assessment of progress made by pupils with SEND,
    • Work sampling and scrutiny of planning to ensure effective matching of work to pupil need,
    • Teacher meetings with the SENCo to provide advice and guidance on meeting the needs of pupils with SEND,
    • Pupil and parent feedback on the quality and effectiveness of interventions provided,
    • Attendance and behaviour records.
    • All pupils have individual curriculum targets set in line with national outcomes to ensure ambition. Parents are informed of these via the reporting system and also at events such as Parents’ Evenings.
    • Pupil attainment is tracked using the whole school tracking system and those failing to make expected levels of progress are identified very quickly. These pupils are then discussed in termly progress meetings that are undertaken between the class/subject teacher and a member of the Senior Leadership team.
    • Additional action to increase the rate of progress will be then identified and recorded that will include a review of the impact of the adaptive/ responsive teaching being provided to the child, and if required, provision to the teacher of additional strategies to further support the success of the pupil.
    • Where it is decided during this early discussion that special educational provision is required to support increased rates, parents will be informed that the school considers their child may require a referral for SEN assessment and will be placed on the SEN register.
  • Where it is decided that a child may need additional support, parents will be contacted and they will go through a triage system to ensure the right support is put in place.

How we solve disputes and problems

SEN Mediation and dispute resolution Walsall​

​At times you may disagree with advice or guidance given to you by your local authority. SEN Mediation is a service to support​ parents or young people to resolve disagreements with the local authority. ​​Mediation can be used before deciding whether to appeal to the SEND Tribunal about decisions of an assessment or an EHC plan. ​The contact details for Walsall’s mediation service are;

KIDS West Midlands:
249 Birmingham Road,
Wylde Green,
Sutton Coldfield,
West Midlands B72 1EA

t.0121 355 2707

​w. ​http://www.kids.org.uk/Event/sen-mediation-service-walsall

How will I be informed if there is a concern about pupil progress?

If a pupil is identified as not making progress the school will set up a meeting to discuss this with you in more detail and to:

  • listen to any concerns you may have too
  • plan any additional support a pupil may receive
  • discuss with you any referrals to outside professionals to support a pupil’s learning

Arrangements for parents to consult school about their child’s special educational needs

  • If you have concerns about your child’s progress you should speak to your child’s form tutor initially.
  • If you are not satisfied that the concerns are being managed and that your child is still not making progress you should speak to the SENCo or the relevant Head of Year.
  • A meeting will be arranged to discuss your concerns and form a plan to support your child.

If you are still not satisfied you can speak to the school’s SEND Governor, via the Clerk to the Governing Body.

Who at the school has responsibility for SEN pupils?

SENCo: Queen Mary’s High School: Mrs L Houlder-Jarvis
Assistant Headteacher: Mrs H Perera
SEND Link Governor: Mrs A Birch

The SENCo is responsible for:

  • coordinating all the support for pupils with special educational needs or disabilities (SEND) and developing the school’s SEND policy to make sure all pupils get a consistent, high quality response to meeting their needs in the school.
  • ensuring that parents are:
    • involved in supporting a pupil’s learning
    • kept informed about the support a pupil is getting
    • involved in reviewing how they are doing
  • liaising with all the other people who may be coming into the school to help support a pupil’s learning e.g. speech and language therapy, educational psychology etc.
  • updating the school’s SEND register (a system for ensuring all the SEND needs of pupils in this school are known) and making sure that there are excellent records of a pupil’s progress and needs.
  • providing specialist support for teachers and support staff in the school so they can help pupils with SEND in the school achieve the best progress possible.
  • Ensure access arrangements are appropriately deployed to support pupils.

The Form Teacher is responsible for:

  • checking on the progress of a pupil and identifying any additional help a pupil may need and letting the SENCo know as necessary.
  • supporting the ‘Assessment, Plan, Do, Review’ cycle and sharing information to support pupil progress outcomes.
  • ensuring that all staff working with a pupil in the school are informed of the support put in place for that pupil so that they can achieve the best possible progress.
  • Be the first point of contact for that child every day
  • ensuring that the school’s SEND programme is followed in their classroom and for all the pupils they teach with any SEND.

The Headteacher is responsible for:

  • the day to day management of all aspects of the school, which includes the support for pupils with SEND.
  • delegating responsibility to the Deputy Headteacher/SENCo and class teachers for ensuring that pupil’s needs are met.
  • ensuring that the Governing Body is kept up to date about any issues in the school relating to SEND.

The SEND Governor is responsible for:

making sure that the necessary support is made for any pupil who attends the school who has SEND.


Our approach to working with SEN pupils

Effective teacher input via high quality classroom teaching also known as precision teaching or Quality First Teaching.

For your child this would mean:

  • that the teacher has the highest possible expectations for all pupils in their class.
  • that all teaching is based on building on what a pupil already knows they understand and is responsive to their needs
  • Responsive teaching is in place to meet the needs of all pupils.
  • specific strategies (which may be suggested by the SENCo and specialist learning assistant) are in place to support pupil learning.

The Teacher Standards (2012) re-assert that all teachers are responsible for the progress and attainment of the pupils in their class, even where pupils access additional adult support. This means providing a robust curriculum, testing knowledge and measuring progress throughout their time in school.


Removing barriers

This process enables professionals working with pupils with a SEND to develop strategies and practices that will enable pupils to make continued progress and achieve positive outcomes in their learning. The process is known as the Assess, Plan, Do and Review (APDR) cycle, shown below.


The Single Category

The SEN code of practice introduced the ‘single category’ to identify where pupils are in their learning progress, recognising the different needs they may have rather than putting them into categories of support.  A pupil on the single category will typically be part of specialist support run by outside agencies e.g. speech and language therapy or occupational therapy groups and/or individual support for your child.

School support

This means the pupil has been identified by a Teacher as needing some extra specialist support in the school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Walsall Children’s Services central services such as SPLD or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need).
  • outside NHS agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service.
  • External organisations depending on the need such as, Cherished or Autism Education Trust.
  • Mercian Trust clinical team

For a pupil this would mean:

  • they have been identified by a teacher, with advice from the SENCo, (or you will have raised your concerns) as needing quality first teaching in all lessons.
  • Parents/ carers and child will work together to write a one page profile to identify needs for staff and ways of working that will support them in the classroom.
  • parents/carers will be asked to come to a meeting to discuss pupil progress and help plan possible ways forward.
  • parents/carers may be asked to give permission for the school to refer a pupil to a specialist professional e.g. a speech and language therapist or educational psychologist. This will help the school and you understand a pupil’s particular needs better and be able to support them better in the school.
  • the specialist professional will work with your child to understand their needs and make recommendations, which may include:
    • making changes to the way a pupil is supported in class e.g. some individual support or changing some aspects of teaching to support them better
    • support to set better targets which will include their specific expertise
    • a group run by school staff under the guidance of the outside professional e.g. a social skills group
    • a group or individual work with an outside professional
  • the school may suggest that a pupil needs some agreed individual support in the school. They will tell you how the support will be used and what strategies will be put in place.
  • Three meetings to review progress throughout the year to manage support and attainment.

This type of support is available for pupils with specific barriers to learning that cannot be overcome through quality first teaching which is accessed by the whole school.

Specified individual support – Education Health and Care Plan

This will usually be provided for via an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP), formerly a statement of special educational needs. This means a pupil will have been identified by a teacher or teaching assistant, with advice from the SENCo, as needing a particularly high level of support. Usually a pupil will also need specialist support in the school from a professional outside the school. This may be from:

  • Walsall Children’s Services central services such as SPLD or Sensory Service (for students with a hearing or visual need)
  • outside agencies such as the Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) Service, the NHS or social care.

For your child this would mean:

  • the school (or you) can request that Walsall Children’s Services carry out a statutory assessment of a pupils needs. This is a legal process which sets out the type of support that will be provided for a pupil after the school has sent in the request to Walsall Children’s Services (with a lot of information about the pupil, including some from you), they will decide whether they think a pupil’s needs (as described in the application provided), seem complex enough to need a statutory assessment. If this is the case, they will ask you and all professionals involved with the pupil to write a report outlining the pupil’s needs. If they do not think the pupil needs this, they will ask the school to continue with enhanced support.
  • After the reports have all been sent to Walsall Children’s Services, they will decide if the pupil’s needs are severe, complex and lifelong and that they need more targeted resources. If this is the case they will write an EHCP. If this is not the case, they will ask the school to continue with the support at school and also set up a meeting in the school to put a plan in place to ensure your child makes as much progress as possible.
  • The EHC plan will outline the type of support the pupil will receive, whose responsibility it will be to deliver that support, the cost of that support, how the support should be used and what strategies must be put in place. It will also have the pupil’s views and opinions fully included.
  • Additional adults may be used to support the pupil with whole class learning, run individual programmes or run small groups including your child.

This type of support is available for children whose learning needs are:

  • severe, complex and lifelong.
  • significantly over and above those the school normally offers pupils.

How are SEND resources allocated in the school?

  • The budget, received from the school education grant, includes resources for supporting children with SEND.
  • The Head Teacher decides on the budget for SEND in consultation with the school governors, on the basis of needs in the school.
  • The Head Teacher and the governing body discuss all the information they have about SEND in the school, including:
    • the pupils getting extra support already
    • the pupils needing extra support
    • the pupils who have been identified as not making as much progress as would be expected and decide what resources/training and support is needed.

All resources/training and support are reviewed regularly and changes made as needed.

Which other people provide support for SEN pupils in the school?

  • Teaching staff
  • Pastoral Leaders
  • Learning mentors
  • Educational Psychology Service staff
  • Sensory Service for children with visual or hearing needs
  • Speech and Language Therapy (SALT) (provided by the NHS but funded by Walsall Children’s Services)
  • School first aiders
  • ELSA support worker
  • Specialist teachers for EHCP students
  • Clinical Support Team

Who provides support in the school for improving emotional and social development, including arrangements for looked after children?

External agency support via Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS), Targeted Youth Support (TYS), T3 (drugs and alcohol misuse service), Young Persons’ Health Advisor (YPHA), Women’s aid, Mercian Trust clinical team, Autism Education Trust.

Within the school via:

  • All staff
  • Learning mentors
  • Part time pupil counsellor
  • Non-teaching teaching assistants
  • Support staff
  • PSHCE curriculum

All of these provide support for improving social and emotional development alongside scheduled SEN/Pastoral meetings identifying areas of need.

Bespoke extra-curricular school clubs with full additional adult support. At present, these are:

  • Drama club
  • Friendship groups
  • Board Game club
  • Science clubs
  • Breakfast club
  • Neurodiversity drop in sessions

How is the school accessible for pupils with SEND?

  • The lower levels of Queen Mary’s High School building are accessible to pupils with minor physical disability.  The sixth form study blocks are also accessible for pupils with minor physical difficulties.
  • We ensure that we meet the needs of pupils within the confines of the protected buildings that the school is housed in.
  • After school provision is accessible to all pupils including those with SEND.
  • Extra-curricular activities are accessible for pupils with SEND.

How does the school support SEND pupils during transition both within and from the school?

We recognise that transitions can be difficult for a pupil with SEND and we take steps to ensure that any transition is as smooth as possible.

When a SEND pupil is moving from a primary school to our school:

  • We will contact the primary school SENCo and arrange a visit to observe a pupil at work and talk to teachers and additional support about them if needed.
  • We will arrange opportunities for SEND pupils to attend the school to familiarise themselves with their new surroundings, meet staff and existing pupils.
  • We will ensure that we receive all up to date records.
  • We will ask the primary school to complete a pupil passport with the pupil in order for us to prepare
  • We will meet with parents to look at current provision and any concerns they may have.
  • They will create their own one page profile to share with staff when they start in September.

When moving between key stages in the school:

  • All SEND pupils will have their progress constantly reviewed. Moving between Key stage 3 and 4 is a key transition time in a pupil’s career. Our transition reviews are person centred placing the pupil at the centre of the decision making process about their key stage 4 programme.
  • Moving into Key Stage 4 a key focus of our work with SEND pupils will be preparation for adulthood.  We will work to develop high aspirations in young people around employability, independent living and participation in the local community. Here we can have access to specifically built programmes such as work with the Princes Trust to deliver such outcomes.

In Year 11:

  • All SEND pupils will receive targeted support for further education/employment. School careers advisers will work with pupils to identify their most appropriate career pathway and how their aspirations can be achieved.
  • Where possible we will arrange for a pupil to visit their new education or employment setting to support them in making informed choices about their next steps and a successful transition into early adulthood.

When moving to Higher education or after sixth form:

  • All SEND pupils will receive targeted support for further education/employment. School careers advisers will work with pupils to identify their most appropriate career pathway and how their aspirations can be achieved.
  • Where possible we will arrange for a pupil to visit their new education or employment setting to support them in making informed choices about their next steps and a successful transition into early adulthood.

How is teaching adapted to meet the needs of SEND pupils?

  • Class teachers plan their lessons according to the specific needs of all groups of children in their class, and will ensure that all pupils’ needs are met. They will follow the schools Teaching and Learning protocols by being adaptive and responsive to the needs of all students.
  • Specific resources and strategies will be used to support SEND pupils individually and in groups.

How are teachers supported to work with SEND pupils and what training do they have?

  • The SENCo’s and teaching assistants role is to support the teaching staff in planning for children with SEND.
  • The school has a training plan for all staff to improve the teaching and learning of children including those with SEND. This includes whole school training on SEND issues and across the Mercian Trust as a whole.
  • Individual teachers and support staff attend training courses run by outside agencies that are relevant to the needs of specific children in their class.
  • We have a number of staff with expertise in a range of SEN including, SEMH, bereavement and counselling. We also have a number of staff use their expertise to deliver ongoing training to staff to develop their working practice with SEN pupils.

SEND overview for parents and carers

At our school we really want to work in partnership with parents and carers to help us do our very best for the pupils we serve.


As Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCo) and SEN Team at Queen Mary’s High School, we will do our very best to:

  • Ensure that you are informed if your child is newly identified as needing additional help and support with their learning.
  • Ensure that we are as accessible to parents and carers as possible (although we may not always be immediately available.)
  • Listen to parents and carers and use your information to help us plan support for your child.
  • Give parents and carers resources to support students at home, through online platforms and meetings.
  • Read any reports about your child sent to the school by professionals or other services, share them with other staff as appropriate and act on them as soon as possible after I receive them.
  • Ensure that your child’s identified individual learning needs are met with appropriate support – regardless of whether they have a diagnosis of a particular condition.
  • Give parents the opportunity to be involved in planning support and in reviewing your child’s progress towards the targets in their support plan.
  • Inform teaching staff and others working with your child (for example lunch staff) of your child’s general special needs, any special support that is needed and what works for them.
  • Work with parents and others involved to carefully plan your child’s move into the school (or from the school) according to their individual needs.

As a parent/carer, it would be helpful if you would keep in touch and:

  • Let the school know if anything has happened that is likely to upset or affect your child in the school.
  • Ensure that we have your correct contact details.
  • Tell us if your child’s special needs have changed in any way or if you receive a professional report that may help us in planning to meet your child’s needs in the school.
  • Let us know if you have any concerns or worries so that we can sort these out together.
  • If you want to meet SEN staff, then please if possible make an appointment in advance, unless it’s urgent. This allows us time to gather the necessary information and staff we may need for a meeting to respond fully to any queries you have.
  • Engage with our inclusion resources that can be found- https://padlet.com/sthoulderl/rvsqoby225e4as8y

Arrangements for consulting young people with SEN

The SEND Code of Practice (2014) provides post-16 pupils with the right to make sole decisions about their SEN and be consulted about their decisions although they can involve parents or others to support them make decisions.

At Queen Mary’s High school young people are supported in making their decisions via person centred planning which take place at each school transition and termly review meetings. Students are encouraged to write their own one page profiles to share with staff.


How does the governing body ensure SEN pupils have the correct equipment and provided with the appropriate facilities?

Termly meetings are held between the link governor and SENCo to provide strategic overview of the department and to ensure that the Code of Practice is being followed. A strategic document is shared with governors and is presented to governors once a year.

How do we ensure that our school is accessible for all pupils?

Our accessibility plan (available on request) ensures that students with disability have the same opportunities offered to them in regard to their education. Please be aware that Queen Mary’s High School operates on a large site with a number of buildings that are accessible only via stairs. We are committed to continual improvement, where possible, of the school’s physical environment to increase the extent to which pupils with disabilities can take advantage of the education, benefits, facilities or service we provide or offer.

Please refer to our accessibility plan for more detailed information on how we:

  • increase the extent to which pupils with disabilities can participate in our curriculum
  • improve the delivery to pupils with disabilities of information which is readily accessible to pupils without
  • increase the extent to which pupils with disabilities can participate in your curriculum
  • improve the delivery to pupils with disabilities of information which is readily accessible to pupils without disabilities